Its systems keep tabs on more than 20,000 operational metrics for each flight, and its next generation of aircraft will provide over 400,000 metrics, or more than 18GB for each flight. That's a lot of data to ingest for every flight around the world, and Airbus will employ IBM's cloud services for the task, Eymery said.
Airbus wants to harness the data to automate some of the pre-flight checks maintenance crews perform between flights, as well as make better predictions about when to replace parts and do maintenance.
Because airlines make a profit of only $4 per passenger on average, any savings a supplier like Airbus can provide will give it an advantage, LeBlanc said.
Citigroup also feels the need for digital transformation. It opened a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow third-party programmers to use its digital wallet and other services in their own apps.
IBM introduced a number of new services at InterConnect to help developers build such applications. One, called DataWorks, prepares an organization's data for external use. An administrator can use DataWorks to specify which fields in a database are opened for access. The software can also clean up data and convert it into appropriate formats for public consumption.
IBM also announced a directory service for drawing data from external APIs, called API Harmony. A developer can enter a term into a search box, such as "restaurant reviews," and the service will return a list of APIs, along with instructions on how to connect to them.
It will also release software for running IBM's BlueMix services within an organization's own data centers. BlueMix provides functionality and tools for building cloud-based applications. It lets organizations move their data to the public cloud if their computational needs become too great, LeBlanc said.
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